‘Did I Mention I Love You?’ by Estelle Maskame

320p

2015

Black and White Publishing

Received as a Gift

51x34awbjkl-_sx323_bo1204203200_When 16 year old Eden goes to LA to spend summer vacation at her dad’s, she’s not exactly thrilled to be staying with a guy she hasn’t seen in three years. And knowing that he’s moved on from her mom and now has a new wife and three step-sons, she can’t help feeling annoyed about how he suddenly wants to be back in her life.

Upon her arrival, Eden is quickly taken under the wing of older neighbour Rachel, who introduces Eden to her group of friends. When they first meet, Eden and her 17 year old step-brother, Tyler, immediately clash, but as Tyler also hangs out with Eden’s new-found friends, they establish a shaky truce. Eden is shocked to find out that Tyler does drugs and alcohol, as a way to distract himself from his major issues, and doesn’t know how to help him.

But when Eden and Tyler realise they have feelings for each other- that run much deeper than any step-siblings feelings should- they are faced with a devastating decision. Add a blackmailing girlfriend, family troubles, and the difficulties of fitting in, and you have the perfect story.

Did I Mention I Love You? is in one word, addictive. I just wanted to keep reading this story of forbidden love forever- and it isn’t a small book! The characters are very relatable, but they all have complex backgrounds and issues, which are carefully explored throughout the course of the book. Estelle Maskame has written an intricate plot that is absolutely amazing (or devastating, depending on how you look at it!) that kept me guessing until the very end.

I’ve actually ordered the second book in the trilogy, Did I Mention I Need You? which I’m eagerly awaiting, and then I’ll have to wait until April for the final book. *wails dramatically and sobs*

As a side note, my grandparents were actually step-siblings and met as young teenagers- just like Eden and Tyler! (Though apparently it wasn’t love at first sight!) It was interesting imagining how it must have been for them in early 1950’s Dublin.

I would probably recommend this book to readers 12+, as there is some mature content, but I think that it is such a fabulous, funny, and heart-wrenching read. Loved it!

‘The Boy Who Drew the Future’ by Rhian Ivory

254p

2015

Firefly Press

Library

51qbfpxhq2bl-_sx352_bo1204203200_Ever since he was little, Noah has had the impulse to draw. He draws the future. His parents want to keep his unusual ‘talent’ a secret, and all Noah wants is to be normal.

When Noah and his parents move yet again, this time to the small town of Sible Hedingham, Noah hopes that this move might be different from all the others. He just wants to focus on his blossoming relationship with Beth, and fitting in at his new school. But despite his trying to resist the urge, Noah unhappily finds himself drawing even more.

Blaze is an ex-workhouse orphan in the 1860’s, who is secretly living in a garden shed, with only his pet, Dog, for company. Drawing the future of anyone who pays him, the people that are meant to be helping Blaze are the very ones that are threatening to alert the authorities to his presence.

Both of these teenagers in different centuries, with the same unique gift. Can they change the futures that they draw?

I thought The Boy Who Drew the Future was such a great book. Narrated by Noah and Blaze in alternating chapters, the plot moved along swiftly and I couldn’t put the book down. I loved the whole concept of the story; the idea of these two boys in different centuries both able to draw the future. I thought it was very well written and I enjoyed the details included in the story about life in a small village in the 1800’s.

I have to say that Beth was definitely my favourite character, and I thought the romance between her and Noah was so sweet. The way it was written wasn’t over the top, giving consideration to the age group, but it was enough to make you notice it and smile inside.

The relationship between Noah and his parents was also wonderfully portrayed. His parents don’t understand Noah’s ability to draw the future, and just keep hoping he’ll ‘grow out of it’ and Noah struggles with that fact. Although he doesn’t want to draw, he does it subconsciously, and when he draws things, he doesn’t always immediately grasp what the drawing means until it’s too late, which is something he feels guilty about.

The Boy Who Drew the Future is a fabulous book, and I enjoyed reading it very much. I will definitely look out for more of Rhian Ivory’s books!

What I Read in February

51o73qlwmol-_sx320_bo1204203200_The Assassin’s Blade, by Sarah J. Maas

This book is a compilation of the novellas leading up to Maas’s Throne Of Glass series, and WOW they are good.

I couldn’t put the book down; the plots were fabulous, each short story weaving into the next, and I loved Celaena’s exciting life as an assassin.

I’ve got the Throne of Glass eBook on request at my local library and I can’t wait to read more in this thrilling, girl-powered series!

51xkwge2ayl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Ink Heart, by Cornelia Funke

This story is absolutely fantastic. The plot pulled me in and the eloquent writing was just magical.

There was one line which I loved: ‘…books have to be heavy because the whole world’s inside them,’ It really rang true with me, and it’s such a beautiful quote.

I didn’t want to put Ink Heart down, and I’m now desperate to get my hands on the next two books in the trilogy.

51xk3dd1oml-_sx310_bo1204203200_Silence is Goldfish, by Annabel Pitcher

This book really gripped me, practically forcing me to keep turning the pages. The writing made it feel like a completely different world at times, and then at other times the story felt as real as anything; in a way, the contrast made me like the book all the more.

Tess Turner was an interesting character, and her sarcastic comments to herself and ‘Mr Goldfish’ cracked me up. I will definitely look out for more of Pitcher’s works.

61urnu6emkl-_sx336_bo1204203200_The Wolf Wilder, by Katherine Rundell

The Wolf Wilder is a must-read for everyone. The plot, the characters, and the amazing illustrations by Gelrev Ongbico all came together to make this one of the best books I read this month.

I was transported to a snowy Russia, and felt like I was roaming across the countryside with Feo, Ilya and the wolves.

It was just such a magical book, and I loved every second of it.

5165qwthp7l-_sx311_bo1204203200_Love, Lucie, by Marita Conlon McKenna

I had grabbed this one from my local library without reading the blurb; just going on the fact that it was by Marita and I loved her Irish famine series. I was not disappointed!

The story was told by Lucie, writing letters to her dead mother as a way of expressing herself and dealing with her mom’s recent death. The story was so sweet and poignant, and the way it was written through letters made it really personal.

I may have shed a tear or two at the end, and I really grew to care for Lucie and her family. It was such a wonderful book.